March 26, 2007 09:09 ET

Air Force to Host Tri-National Search and Rescue Exercise

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(CCNMatthews - March 26, 2007) - The Canadian Air Force will play host to U.S. and Russian forces for Arctic SAREX, an annual search and rescue exercise. The exercise will take place in the vicinity of 19 Wing Comox and Campbell River, BC, from April 1-5.

Arctic SAREX 07 is the twelfth in a series of Canadian, American and Russian military efforts to improve combined Search and Rescue (SAR) capabilities to respond to major air disasters in the Arctic.

"Arctic SAREX is an important series of exercises for us, " said Maj.-Gen. Charlie Bouchard, Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division/Canadian NORAD Region Headquarters. "In addition to exchanging best practices in search and rescue, it ensures that we are ready and able to respond quickly to Canadians in distress, particularly in the North".

This year's scenario will simulate a major air disaster (MAJAID). SAR technicians (SAR Techs) from all three countries will parachute into a mass-casualty scene, survival equipment will be dropped from an Aurora patrol aircraft and a full MAJAID kit will be deployed from a Hercules transport aircraft. Following basic medical care and an overnight stay in a field, casualties will be evacuated to a triage centre at a forward operating base where Field Ambulance medical staff will have the opportunity to practice their role. The exercise will conclude when all of the simulated survivors are evacuated to a major center, their final destination.

As host, the Canadian Forces will make the greatest contribution to this year's exercise. SAR personnel from across the country will participate, accompanied by members of the Army and Navy. Special support for the major air disaster will come from 8 Wing Trenton and the Canadian Forces Advanced Land Warfare Centre.

In Canada, aerial search and rescue is the mandate of the Canadian Forces. Hundreds of Canadians are rescued by Air Force search and rescue personnel every year from coast to coast to coast.

Note to Editors: Media opportunities will take place during the exercise, time/date TBA. For more information on Arctic SAREX 07, please contact Lieut. Steve Neta at (204) 833-2500 extension 2029 or (204) 291-8942.

Contact Information